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Daily Prayer - 2013-02-12

Presence

I pause for a moment and think of the love
and the grace that God showers on me:
I am created in the image and likeness of God;
I am God's dwelling-place.

Freedom

Lord, I pray for your gift of freedom.
May your Holy Spirit
guide those in power to work for
equality for all your people.

Consciousness

In the presence of my loving Creator,
I look honestly at my feelings over the last day,
the highs, the lows and the level ground.
Can I see where the Lord has been present?

The Word of God

Mark 7:1-13

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours me with their lips,
 but their hearts are far from me;
 in vain do they worship me,
 teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’

Then he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, “Honour your father and your mother”; and, “Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.” But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, “Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban” (that is, an offering to God)— then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.’

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • Jesus with his uneducated disciples is mixing with sophisticated Pharisees from Jerusalem, men who have mastered the intricate rules about ritual purity, and look down on those who are ignorant of them. As Christians we can set up our own norms of what is god-fearing and respectable, and forget that it is the heart that matters. Jesus always sees through the externals of behaviour to the love and goodness that may lie beneath.

Conversation

What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word?
I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.